Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Amreeka! Movie Review

A couple of days ago I watched this interesting movie titled "Amreeka" by the Palestinian film maker "Cherien Dabis".
The movie depicts the life of a Palestinian single mother and her son struggle in Palestine and then moving to "The Promised Land" of USA.

=Spoiler Warning!=

The heroin" Muna" played by Nisreen Faour is well depicted. Giving an image of a simple Arab woman who happen to be a single mum and her struggle to support her self and her teenager son while dealing with some self-esteem issues... The character is believable and is probably what touched me the most about the movie.

The scenes shot in Palestine is also very believable. The simplicity of the people there and the way they run their lives is very touching.
Again there is a scene where people came to say goodbye to Muna and her mother starts singing and then dancing is very natural and believable and was a touching scene.

Though I'm half Palestinian myself... I have to say that characters like Muna's mum is strange to me... yet I feel close to... [ maybe in an attempt to belong... ]

The plot in this movie is rather easy and with many things happening that you would expect them to happen...

For example that the heroin of the movie Muna will develop a "relation" with a Jewish man. The message that Palestinians are not against Jews is a very legitimate and maybe important one... but the way it was handled in this movie I felt it was a bit in your face... But maybe Dabis chose to show it from this angle... because it is a very human one.

The final scene in the movie was a bit of a disappointment... But keeping in mind that Dabis is herself an American immigrant makes me understand where she is coming from. But again as being myself not a big fan of America... I have to say that I didn't like the ending. It seemed too expected and cliche'...

The music featured in the movie is very efficient... mostly with Fairuz music giving a real Arab feeling to it... which most Middle Eastern audience will easily relate to.

The Cinematography of the movie is beautifully done. The camera angles are efficient and worth an applause...

On a minor aspect there are some mistakes that were mentioned in the movie... like referring to Palestine as "Palestinian Territory" which I never heard any Palestinian use... Usually in official settings it is "West Bank"... or maybe "Occupied Territory"... but as far as I know Palestinians refer to their country as Palestine.
Another mistake was when Muna said that Palestine has been occupied for 40 years... The movie is set to be in 2003 just around the American invasion of Iraq... so if we count the Israeli occupation from 1948 it should be 55 years or if it is from 1967 it should be 36 years! I personally use the first number!

All in All... This movie is a must see movie... it is a very human and touching movie with a hint of comedy! A good attempt and an applaud-able one by Cherien Dabis...

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